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Monday, August 30, 2010

Kontomire with Chicken & Yam

Ghanaians enjoy a wide variety of meats and fish both fresh water and marine, and so tend to have more than one type in a dish. In Kontomire stew for instance, you could have beef, wele (cow skin), oysters and smoked tuna. For this recipe, chose to use just chicken. I don't think chicken mixes very well with other meats so I just use it on its own.

Ingredients I used are:
2 pounds chicken
1 pound washed chopped Kontomire leaves. (about GH¢0.50 worth)
1 1/2 cup ground Agushi (melon seed)
1 cup Palm oil
2 medium sized onions
1/2 onion (blended smooth)
10 - 12 medium sized tomatoes
15 - 20 kpakpo shito (green peppers)
1 tuber of yam
Maggi cube
salt

 
Start by removing the chicken skin, cutting it into desired sizes and washing it thoroughly.

Spice the chicken with 1/2 a blended onion, 1 maggi cube, some salt and black pepper. mix it all in and steam the chicken, just until it turns white and produces stock.

 
Chop the onions ...

 
... and blend the tomatoes together with the pepper.

 
Pour the Agushi into a bowl and add about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt to it,

 
then pour in enough water to cover it and leave it to soak.

The kontomire could be shredded from the stalks, boiled and mashed, or just chopped like i prefer.


Heat the palm oil in a pot and add onions. Fry until the onions are soft, then add the tomatoes and cover. Simmer it all down till it starts to fry. Stir it for about 3 minutes then add the chicken pieces. Fry a little more until it starts to stick.

Stir gently then add the kontomire.


 
Stir it in, add the stock and leave it to simmer


Add the soaked Agushi, stir it in gently and leave it to simmer. After a few minutes, the agushi starts to clump in the sauce. Stirring too much will break up the clumps, so either stir gently or lift the pot and 'shake' it to move this around.

 
Simmer it on a very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Only add extra salt after the stock and Agushi are in since they both contain salt.



Turn it off sooner if you reach your preferred thickness.

Peel the tuber of yam and cut into even pieces. Add enough water to cover all the yam, add some salt and boil. When a fork can pass through, it is ready. Pour off the excess water and serve with the knotomire stew.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tilapia in Garden Egg Stew


I haven't posted anything in a while because I had a bout of Malaria. I'm all better now and so we get back to cooking!

I prepared what I have for the longest time considered to be Fante-Fante. A good friend passed by as I was uploading my pictures and promptly announced that THIS is NOT fante-fante. This sparked a heated debate, at the end of which, I was not convinced. I need further clarification, so if anyone can shed light on this, it just might lighten the strain on a very good friendship. : D

Anyway, the ingredients I used are:

4 medium size Tilapia (cut into 3 pieces each)
8 large Garden Eggs
10 Medium size Tomatoes
12 - 15 Hot peppers
2 Large Onions
3/4 cup Palm Oil
1 large Maggi Shrimp cube
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
Salt

Scale and the Tilapia (if not already done) and wash it thoroughly, making sure all the scales and entrails are removed. Some people like to leave the gills in, but I take them out. Shake off all excess water.


Crumble the Maggi cube over the Tilapia and sprinkle the black pepper and about a teaspoon of salt on it. Toss the fish gently to get the seasoning all over it. Too vigorously and the fish may start to get mashed. However fresh fish is quite firm, so gently tossing it is fine. Leave to marinate for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Wash the garden eggs . Cut off the stalks and slice each in half lengthwise. This allows them to cook faster. Place in a pot and add enough water to cover and boil. When the flesh starts to look transparent and seperates from the skin, it is cooked. About 10 - 15 minutes.

Wash and blend the tomatoes and pepper till smooth.

Chop up the onions.

Place the oil in a pot big enough to comfortably hold all the ingredients and heat. Remember, the fish needs enough room in the pot or it will be mashed up.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry till they are soft.

When the onions are cooked, add the blended tomatoes and pepper and leave to simmer. Allow all the water to evaporate while stirring intermitently. Fry for an additional 5 minutes after the water evaporates but making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the flesh of the garden eggs and discard. Usind an earthenware pot (Asanka), mash the garden eggs until a semi-smooth paste is made. Don't blend because you want to retain some texture. You could also just roughly chop the garden eggs, just be sure to squish some to get some parts pastey.

Add the garden egg paste to the sauce and add 1/2 a cup of water.


Bring it to a simmer and add the Tilapia. Once the fish is added, reduce the heat under the pot and stir the fish in gently, making sure as much of the fish as possible is covered by the sauce. leave it to simmer gently for another 15 minutes. Stir occassionaly to make sure it isn't sticking, but be sure not to mash up the fish. If you are sure it isn't sticking, you could even just lift the pot by the handles and give it a shake, rotating the sauce colckwise , the anti-clockwise sor of like steering. Do this until desired thickness of stew is achieved. (10 minutes)

Peel a tuber of yam and cut into desired sizes, wash the pieces thoroughly to get all the sand off, then place in a pot, add enough water to cover, add salt to taste and boil. Cook until a fork goes trough easily. Drain off the water and serve hot with the Tilapia stew.
You could also serve the Stew with boiled plantain, ripe or unripe.
It also goes well with Eba (Gari cooked with hot water) or plain rice.
Let me know you variations of this dish. Aslo please let me know if you would consider this fante-fante? and if not, what is fant-fante to you?

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